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The City of Cape Town is running three incubator programmes in tonwship communities to assist individuals in accessing new employment opportunities and growing their own businesses.
Cape Town’s Township economy vital contributor to city’s economy
Programmes include the Small Business Incubation and Development Project, where the City provides local business incubators with funding, facilities, and business development workshops.
The City of Cape Town’s Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and asset management James Vos explains that the tonwship economy is vital to economic growth in the city.
“A healthy business ecosystem in communities is good for local residents, and the broader Cape Town. The township economy in particular is a vital contributor to Cape Town’s economy. This is why the City of Cape Town’s enterprise and skills development initiatives aim to directly address the unique challenges that communities face to help equip locals and grow economic opportunities in their areas.”
City of Cape Town incubators
According to reports, the City of Cape Town is currently managing and operating three incubators.
- Fintech, headquartered in Nyanga, up-skills people for work in the furniture industry and has trained almost 7000 learners and supported more than 700 SMMEs
- Bandwidth Barn in Khayelitsha, which not only provides a computer lab for the local community, but also teaches them technology and business skills.
- Atlantis-based Sarebi which trains entrepreneurs for working in the renewable energy sector.
“The type of training given by these incubators and through partners such as Business Associate, Productivity SA, and the Small Enterprise Development Agency, empower entrepreneurs in townships with the knowledge to not simply start a business, but to keep it going,” adds Vos.
The incubators enable participants to understand the requirements of tendering in the City’s supplier development and smart procurement workshops. This vital information enables participants to create a business and become suppliers in the region.
Other City initiatives and partnerships include:
Currently, the City of Cape Town is working with retail chains such as Pick n Pay, other private sector funders, and the Western Cape Government to design commercially sound neighbourhood convenience stores.
“This is really addressing core constraints, and a fundamental aspect of this design is improving infrastructure. We are addressing this need directly with, for example, the electricity upgrade of market stores in Langa, Gugulethu, and Nyanga. Addressing challenges of infrastructure and resources will further help to make decentralised business nodes an attractive destination for high growth sectors,” points out Vos.
Encouraging locally-based sector nodes is important, as over 80% of those employed in the city in sectors like Information Technology Communication (ICT), Business Process Outsourcing (call centres) and the creative industry come from these areas.
“This will allow residents – many of whom have been trained by our Strategic Business Partners – to work closer to home while also economically boosting the places where they live,” explains Vos.
The City’s impact with Paygas
Through its economic inclusion model, PayGas empowers local entrepreneurs while providing affordable cleaner energy to low-income households. The Enterprise and Investment Department assisted PayGas by fast-tracking building plan approvals, allowing the company to launch quantity gas (LPG) reﬁlling stations in Nyanga and Philippi.
Featured image: The City of Cape Town (Supplied)